Saturday, 21 April 2007

The Smiths

First Meetings


The First Couple of Weeks...

I'd known Johnny for a while.

I'd engineered a session for Freakparty (Johny's and Andy's band), they rehearsed at Decibelle, the studio I worked and rehearsed at.
Due to the incestuousness of the Manchester music scene at that time, we had also shared band members, my drummer Bill Anstee, had also been Johnys drummer in Sister Ray.
Johny had also formed a physical attachment to my vocalist.

My band "The Adorables" had a bit of a following and minor interest from some of the independent labels. It consisted of two bass players, vox, drums and keyboard.
For anybody interested in this period of Manchester Music, I will continue in another post, as its prob not of too much value for the people reading this.

J approached me and asked if I wanted to play bass in his new band. I'd never actually been in a band I hadnt put together myself, so was initially reticent.
I cant remember the events that turned my indecision to a yes, but I eventually agreed, summoning my old band members to a meeting at my flat located in the Crescents in Hulme, and letting them know.

They were a bit miffed, it wasnt pleasant, they decided to carry on without me, and the deed was done. (if any of them stumble upon this I'd like to hear their point of view, and their memories concerning these times)

So...I was now a free agent.

The First Meeting

I rode down to J's place in Bowden. He had a room in the house of a local Granada TV presenter "Shelly Rhodes" who presented Granada news and a smattering of current affairs progs from time to time. I think he was friends with her son, and had secured a room in her large sprawling house.
It was a fairly typical room, couple of guitars, double tape decks, portastudio, sofa etc.

Stephen was there, I'd already been told by J that he didnt like to be called "Steve", so Stephen it was.

We got chatting, shared a few common interests (vegetarianism, velvet underground).

J played me "I want a Boy for my Birthday" on cassette, said it was likely to be the first single, and could I put a bass line to it. As it stood, it was just guitar and vox. I took the cassette, promising to have the bass written for our next meeting. I was there a couple of hours, and we agreed to meet a couple of times a week to get things started.

I said I'd pick Stephen up from Stretford, I was coming from Whalley Range, so I passed his door anyway. I took him back home, Stephen riding pillion, and that was the way we travelled for the next couple of months.

9 comments:

Justin said...

Hello Dale,

Did you ever do any recording with a band called Gods Gift? If so, any idea where they are now?

Dale Hibbert said...

Justin...I didnt play with them live, I did rehearse and was going to stand in for the bass player, but he recovered...I did however engineer/produce their last single and album for New Hormones.
GG should have been the Arctic Monkeys of their time, fantastic, poetical lyrics, and an incredible wall of sound.Ive got no idea where they are now, and am always disapointed that google brings nothing up. Most of them worked in a Psychiatric hospital, the guitarist would prob be knocking on 65 by now, so I guess hes retired.I still play their tapes from time to time, and their music really hasnt aged. They were just 20 years to early :(

Steve Murphy said...

Hi Dale,
I'm 50 you cheeky get! *LOL*
Many thanks for your kind sentiments though - I think you are right *L*.
You did a great job for us with Discipline and Then Calm Again. Had a few laughs and a few horrors along the way.
Hope things are good.
Cheers,
Steve M

Justin Toland said...

Nice one! Steve recently got in touch with me and I've just put up the interview:
http://newhormonesinfo.com/category/gods-gift/
Totally agree about GG being ahead of the game - look forward to seeing the stuff reissued.

Rudz─źtis said...

I remember reading that Morrissey absolutely insists on the spelling "Steven" as opposed to "Stephen".

Jeff said...

For many years i've been in a debate about the smiths rehearsing at Decibelle, at the time we where in a band and use to rehearse in the next room,(we where crap by the way) but i do remember the smiths being there, but our lead singer says other wise, now i got the proof, cheers dale,, take care,,,jeff

Anonymous said...

hi dale
in asia, its 1am and ive just come across this......... love ( i owe you. sorry ) joni b spirit

Anonymous said...

Hello Hibbert. As a huge fan of The Smiths, I was wondering what it was like to work with Johnny Marr and Morrissey? What was Morrissey like at the time?

Anonymous said...

"Johny had also formed a physical attachment to my vocalist."

You mean, like, he put a wheel-clamp on her or something?